tv Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate at the 1987 Iowa State Fair CSPAN September 7, 2015 2:01pm-3:53pm EDT
the general election. this is two hours. >> thank you. i, too, would like to welcome everyone to the economics of america debate. the forum we believe will help iowans be better informed about some of the presidential candidates prior to the iowa caucuses. getting down to the business, let me introduce the candidates and may i ask that there be no applause in the interest of saving time. with that in mind, starting on my immediate right, senator joseph r. biden jr. of delaware. please, we save time for the candidates to speak. next to him, we have former arizona governor bruce babbitt. jesse jackson. massachusetts governor michael dukakis.
former senator, rather senator albert gore jr. of tennessee. missouri congressman richard gephardt. and illinois senator paul simon. may i remind those in the audience, these men are going to be restricted to as little as a minute and a half at tatime. if you insist on applauding, they'll have less time to speak and express their views. on our panel sitting on my left, crayton canal farm director of radio in shenandoah. george wily, manager editor of wiopd, and john fensinger, news director of knms radio. the official timers are john delyden and phyllis sherman. ground rules for the audience,
for this nonpartisan sponsored debate include the following. no smoking, no campaign paraphernalia. no camera flashes. as we say, no applause until the end of the debate. any time there's interruptions might result in your candidate being deprived of that much time. we ask you please remain seated during the debate. we outline these rules in the hopes that the very best of use can be made of the time in debating the issues without distractions and we thank you in advance for your cooperation. now, the format for the economics of america debate calls for each candidate to give opening remarks. next, the candidates will answer panel questions. the third segment of the debate calls for each candidate to ask one other candidate one question. and finally, each candidate will give closing remarks. and again, all questions must be on the economic issues. now, the order of turn was
determined by random drawing as was the seating order. we'll rotate the sequence of turns throughout the debate. and the order of closing remarks will be the opposite of the order of the opening remarks. so without further ado, we begin the debate with opening remarks. each candidate is permitted two minutes. first, mr. biden. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. you're going to hear an awful lot of detail about economic policy today. but i think it's important that while we listen and speak to this detail, we keep a couple things in mind. first of all, when we talk about statistics, we're really talking about people. when we talk about the farm crisis in america, we're talking about the farmer and his wife who at this very moment in iowa are sitting at the kitchen table with their bills spread before them, knowing that there's no way to make it another day. 180 such farmers a day are in that position, where their hopes and their dreams and aspirations
are going up in smoke. a second thing to keep in mind is to try to figure out how did we get to be such a great nation in the first place. and it seems to me there's two reasons why have done so well in the past. the first is that every generation of americans has understood that its responsibility was to leave a legacy to the succeeding generation that was in fact better, more prosperous, than the one they inherited. we're not doing that now under the reagan administration. under the reagan administration, we are leaving our children with close to a $3 trillion debt. we're making it harder for them to get to college. we're shortening their possibilities rather than lengthening them. there's a second reason why we have done so well as a nation. we have always thought of ourselves as a single nation with a unified economy, one economy. but what's happened under this administration? we find ourselves developing a bicoastal economy. where out west where i live and out in the west, things are
going pretty well. all the heartland of america is suffocating. so as we debate these issues, let's put them in concrete terms. and understand that when we talk about these statistics, we're talking about people, and the only way we're going to answer the problem is to reestablish a sense of community and oneness and reestablish a sense of idealism that has always moved us along in this nation. lastly, to move ourselves in a direction taking every issue before us and viewing it in terms of how it will impact upon our children. if we do those two things, we will once again reestablish ourselves as an economic giant in the world with a sense of compassion and understanding for all of our american citizens. >> now, mr. babbitt. >> a couple weeks ago, i met an iowa farmer named russ. he told me that he was managing to hang on to that farm, but the only way they were making it was
with his son-in-law working on a mail truck and on the farm, and his daughter was working a full-time job in a neighboring community. he said to me, bruce, i think we can make it through this, but what i don't understand is why with the rest of the world blossoming with economic growth, created by americans, why is it we're having such a tough time, stuck, stagnating, trying to get started and to make it? that's the question for 1988 and for this debate. i believe that in order to take charge of america's economy and to get it moving again, we need to make three basic changes. the first is what i call work place democracy. we need presidential leadership to bring out the very best of the creativity in america's workers, to bring labor and management together. to say to management, when you cut wages for employees, you cut
them for yourselves. when you give bonuses, you have to give bonuses to those employees because we are to bring people together in the workplace. the second change that i advocate is a universal needs test, to take charge of government and to step up and take charge of that budget. a universal needs test is a question. a question i would ask of each and every item in the budget. is it really necessary, and is it really focused on people who really need that help? third, as americans, we must together resolve to end the neglect of our children. and to invest in day care, public education, access to higher education. if we do those things, together, i can say to russ and his kids, america can take charge. world leadership can create a future for our children. thank you. >> mr. jackson. >> the dominant theme of our day
is economic violence. 50 years ago, dr. king and robert kennedy were killed. in their days, it was racial violence. for us, it's day care cuts, it's head start cuts. it's senior citizens and their golden years facing tragedy. 38 million jobs leaving this economy. 600,000 farms lost. 30 million people have lost insurance. economic violence. it's become a nation of emerging corporations submerging the community. we must fight the economic injustice. we must have a new policy invention. reinvent america. retrain our workers. reindustryalize our nation, and research commercial development. we can do better, but another direction is in order. for example, gm closed 11 plants
in november. 30,000 jobs. the very next week, 30,000 jobs were open in south korea. we can do better. for example, in the auditorium today on the stage, how many of you own or know someone who knowns a vcr? raise your hand? raise your hand. hands down. there's not one american made vcr. not because we can't. because it's not our priority. how many of you know someone who knows a missile? raise your hand. the point is, we're making more of what the world needs less of. we must change our priorities. and if we do, we're going to achieve our greatness once again. a nation does best when it does most. let's move from economic violence to economic justice for everybody.
>> thank you. now -- please. mr. dukakis. >> thank you, russ, and thank you all for giving us the opportunity to speak about the future of the iowa economy and of our economic future as a nation. a few weeks ago, the federal government released its monthly statistics for unemployment. and massachusetts had an unemployment rate of 2.5%. how did this happen? how is it that a state which 12 years ago was an economic and financial basket case today is being called the massachusetts miracle? we did it by working together. the governor, the legislature, businessmen and women, workers in their unions, educators. lots of good citizens working together, building together, investing together. and the real question before us today in the weeks and months ahead of this campaign is whether we're going to have a president in 1989 who knows how to build an economic future that
creates real economic opportunity and good jobs and good wages for every american, no matter who they are or where they come from or what the color of their skin. a president who will roll up his sleeves and go to work to put our fiscal house in order, to invest in good schools and good skills, to invest in the new technologies that will rebuild our basic industries and create new opportunities for our farmers. a president who will invest in regional and especially rural development. a president who knows how to build a real partnership for economic growth and for economic opportunity all across america. i believe i have the strength and the experience and the credibility to be that kind of president. to provide leadership that will bring people together. leadership that is tested. leadership that knows what it means to work with people in communities that five years ago had unemployment rates of 14% and 16% and 18%, and today are enjoying full employment. leadership that will insure that this country and its leaders
will respect the law and respect the constitution. that's who i am, and that's what i believe in. i hope i can win your support. >> and now, mr. gore. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm glad to be here, and i think it's appropriate that we're talking about farm and trade and economic policy. today here in the heartland of america. because one of the ironies of our present situation is that several states on the atlantic and pacific coast are doing well for specialized reasons while people here in the heartland, in my home area of the south and the rust belt and here in the corn belt are not doing nearly as well. we must do better. and the solutions we need are not to be found in a collection of narrow interest agendas, nor can they be seen from the narrow perspective of one of those states that's doing well on the coast. the problems are broader than that. and the solutions must be bigger than that.
the next president, for example, must rebuild a consensus in favor of responsible fiscal policy. there are many stops which must be taken in order to reduce the budget deficit. let me single out one related policy with which i think deserves more attention. in each year's budget, we're devoting enormous sums to the arms race. if the next president can seek a verifiable and meaningful arms control agreement, we can redirect large sums of money away from the arms race and toward deficit reduction, investments in environmental protection and health care and education. similarly, when we talk about making america more competitive, we should see and understand the close connection between competitiveness and education. we should make a national commitment to creating the world's best education system. when we talk about creating jobs, let us remember this afternoon that 95% of all new jobs are created by small
business. we should have policies that focus on small business development, and when we talk about agriculture, let's not just talk about one small part of the agricultural marketplace, as the only active farmer in this race, i know the entire agricultural economy is suffering. we need changes like improvements in the conservation reserve program, rural economic development, and better farm credit policy. in all of this, we must focus on the broad national interest and lift the economic fortunes of the entire country. >> and now, mr. gephardt. >> first of all, we don't have a national economy today. what we have is a series of regional economies. in places where defense spending is high, there's prosperity. but in places like iowa, where factories are closing and farms are being foreclosed, there's pain and anguish and apprehension. the heart of america's heartland is being torn out.
and it's happening because in the last seven years, we have been challenged only to ask what we can do for ourselves. our economy is in trouble, not just because of failed economic policies but because of failed values. we've got to ask again what's right and what's wrong. it's wrong. it's just plain wrong to be spending billions of dollars on star wars and other vast military systems and just adding the cost to the deficit and never facing up to how we're going to pay for it. and it's wrong. it's just plain wrong to be spending millions of dollars on mercenary soldiers in nicaragua who are killing children when we don't have enough money in our own budget to help children here in the united states. and it's wrong. it's just plain wrong to pit one region against another, to leave
the iowa farmers out in the cold, and that leaves the oil workers in the southwest without a job. i think that in the days ahead, we've got to recognize there's a profound danger at the heart of our society and our economy. and it's that we've lost our moral compass. it's time to ask a basic question. isn't it time that we had a president again who really doesn't lie to the american people, and asks us to do what's right for our country, not just for ourselves. martin luther king jr. once said, what self-centered men have torn down, other centered people can build up. i believe that. and i also believe that only when we bring out the real spirit of america can we rebuild our economy and give all of our people opportunities again. >> and -- he already exceeded
his time. please. finally, mr. simon. >> thank you. this afternoon, this should be more than a political miss america show. let me suggest that in the next hour and a half, all of us on this panel should agree on three specific things. where we recognize there are economic needs in this country, number one, spending too high a percentage of our national income on weapons. number two, we have to make education a much greater priori priority. number three, we have to face the problems that our older americans face so that they don't need to face those years with fear and their families with crushing debt. i would like to add other things like a good, vigorous family farm program and a program that would guarantee a job opportunity to every american,
but i recognize these are more crucial. in response to those three specific needs, let me ask my colleagues on the panel this afternoon if we couldn't agree this afternoon to do these three things. number one, no matter which one of us is elected president, on january 21, 1989, if the soviets will agree, we will stop all nuclear testing. it's verifiable. it would be a significant step away from the arms race. number two, that we will massively attack the problem of adult illiteracy and provide significant funding for intensive preschool education in disadvantaged areas. we know from tests in michigan and elsewhere that if you have that intensified preschool education, there is a dramatic change in the drop-out rate in the teenage pregnancy rate and
the crime rate. let's do something about it. and third, let's pledge that we will have a self-fninanced program that moves on the problems of long-term care for all older americans. if we could agree on these three things today and in future encounters agree on additional things, we would begin to provide this nation an alternative, a constructive program. let's start on it this afternoon. >> it is time now for the panel questions. each candidate will have one and a half minutes to respond to the question. each of the other candidates will then have a minute and a half to comment on that same question if they so wish. the first question comes from our panelist. >> my question is to mr mr. babbitt. back in the middle of the industry that has contributed quite positively to our united states exports and quite
positively has had an influence on our balance of payments. my question is, what are your proposals to continue these positive contributions? and will these proposals operate within the gap negotiations without subjecting united states agriculture to even more financial problems? >> the first problem is the reagan agricultural policies. the president has announced he intends to terminate agricultural support programs. i think that's morally wrong. that is a death sentence for the american family farmer. what he's really saying is that he'll stand by why iowa becomes nothing but a giant plantation operated by share croppers under a cargill sign. and that's wrong. now, gephardt and others have proposed mandatory production controls at the other extreme. i think they're well intentioned but i don't think they'll work. i think agricultural production
controls are isolation. they'll destroy american markets abroad. they'll drive up food prices at the grocery store. i think there's a better way. take the existing programs and make them work. and you make them work by getting the agra businesses out. we've got to stop this process of sending $10 million checks to farms in california and to say that that loan rate program ought to be based on a unit of production called a family farm. and it ought to be moved not down but up so that we can say to family farmers, that program is meant. it's the reflection of a purpose that began with thomas jefferson to keep people on the farm. and to keep that farm healthy. >> thank you, mr. jackson, any comment on that question? >> yes, the most fundamental issue is that farmers are working and producing and deserve fair prices for their production. farmers want parity and not
charity. 600,000 farmers have been driven from their land with no place to go. now, there's a move in congress to in effect bail out the farm credit system, which i happen to support. on the other hand, these two agents by government have 3.5 million acres of land taken from the farmers. it must be defined not by how many big farmers get more subsidy but by how quickly we get those 600,000 farmers their land back. and then go beyond that. supply management. agriculture is an international industry. we must have an international conference on food and agriculture, such to stabilize prices worldwide, establish a floor beneath which no farmer will fall. farmers want parity and not charity. if we give the farmer charity, we give ourselves a chance. i character it straight.
we as a nation turn our backs on the hands that have fed us and that is a condemnation of us as a nation. the farmers deserve a chance. if we can bail out and help chrysler and bail out europe and bail out japan, an $18 billion cost for a bomber, we can bail out the family farmer. >> thank you. mr. dukakis. >> there are four things we have to do if we're serious about preserving and strengthening the family farm. first, we have to help those farmers who are in trouble financially to get through the credit crisis. i think the bill which the house agriculture committee reported is a good one. especially those that prevent foreclosure. secondly, we need a balanced program of supply management and reasonable price supports. as both bruce and jesse have pointed out, a program that benefits family farmers, not corporate farmers or limited partnerships or hobby farmers.
thirdly, i think we have to aggressively explore the possibilities and opportunities for new uses for agricultural crops. gasahol is the most obvious one, especially when dozens will not meet national ozone standards this fall. there are many new exciting possibilities, possibilities to open up real opportunities for our farmers. finally, we have to invest in rural development. of course, a healthy agricultural economy is the most important single thing we can do for rural america. in addition to that, our rural counties and small towns and farm communities are entitled to a broader and more diverse and stronger economic base that will provide good jobs and new industries in addition to that healthy agricultural economy. can we do it? i'm sure we can. i have seen it happen in my own state and i'm sure we can do it all across america. >> thank you. mr. gore. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the problem with what governor dukakis has just said is that it contains no specifics
whatsoever. i believe that farmers have had enough rhetoric and promises and need new ideas and new approaches. specifically, i think we should enlarge the conservation reserve program. to take environmentally sensitive land out of production at a faster rate and take some of the pressure off the fly and improve prices. specifically, i think we should expand the role of the ag extension service and use it as the leading edge of the wedge in rural economic development to expand economic opportunities in farm and agricultural communities. specifically, third, we ought to understand the close connection between the problems on the farm and the misguided fiscal policy which has been followed by this administration. and we ought to understand that if we're going to recapture foreign markets, we have to have a strict policy of no more farm embargoes no matter what. next, we ought to try to negotiate specific international commodity agreements. the common market in europe is
close to tearing itself apart because of the massive subsidies that they are now pouring into their agricultural exports. if the next president of the united states has experience in international negotiations and is capable of engaging our trading partners and competitors and seeking meaningful international commodity agreements, we can make progress. and finally, specifically, we need to apply the same standards for farm credit as are currently applied for a credit to small businesses. in that way, we can improve the health of american agriculture. >> thank you. now mr. gephardt. >> everybody here is going to agree that we need to get exports up. that we need to improve the farm credit system. that we need to find new uses for agricultural products. those are easy things to agree on. but the acid test of a farm policy in 1988 i think comes on two points. first, are you doing something
to get a better price for farmers? there's no substitute for getting farmers a fair price for their products. 1948, when the farm program was in trouble, harry truman put in controls, supply management to get the price up. in 1960, john kennedy did the same thing. and any farm program that doesn't deal with that is not a farm program that allows farmers the right that everybody in this country wants to be able to get a fair price for their product. the last thing i would like to say is that a lot of people say that the hart and gephardt save the family farm act is wrong because it's a mandatory program. the program we've got now is as mand doir as any program could possibly be. if a farmer isn't in the program, they don't get the government checks. farmers here in iowa this year will get more money from the government from their corn than they'll get from the
marketplace. that's wrong. every other industry in this country can cut down their supply to keep the price up. and that's why the harken/gephardt bill is the best foreign policy, and those questions that are presented by it are the acid test of whether you really want to help farmers or not. >> and now, mr. simon. >> someone who lives at rural route one in illinois, population 400, understands a little bit about rural america and the values of rural america. i grew up working on a farm. my wife and i owned a farm at one point. what we need are several things. number one, restructured agricultural program that really is family farm oriented. number two, much greater use of what we produce, and the bill that i am the chief sponsor of in the senate that would increase the use of ethanol to 50% of the gasoline sold in this
nation by 1992, has to be 10% ethanol, would raise the price of corn about 80 cents to a dollar a bushel. not as high as it was a few years ago, but an appreciable improvement over where we are now. third, instead of sending so many weapons to developing nations, we ought to be expanding the food for peace program. it would help those countries and it would help iowa and illinois farmers. rural economic development, i happen to agree with mike dukakis, that we can do significantly better in providing alternative methods in addition to lifting the agricultural income, and finally, let's get our fiscal house in order so we get interest rates down. that would be of appreciable help to farmers. prime rate in united states today is 8.25%. prime rate in japan today is 2.5%. a president who gets ahold of our fiscal policy can be a
tremendous help to farmers, particularly if that president understands rural america. >> and finally, mr. biden. >> thank you very much. i come from a border state whose primary industry is agriculture. i learned something a long time ago being a city boy in that state. the farmers are pretty smart. farmers know more about foreign policy than most anyone else knows about farm policy. and i thought the essence of the question was whether or not we're going to continue this agricultural miracle, part of what rests on phenomenal export capability we all had. we all agree on issues relating to price and issues relating to debt structuring in varying degrees. it seems to me the real acid test to use the phrase used by someone else earlier, is whether or not we're going to be able to have a domestic agricultural policy that does not curtail or eliminate a sound export market. iowa farmers export between 500
million and 700 million, over half a billion dollars worth of agricultural products to japan, for example. the first person that's going to get hurt in a trade war will be the farmer. it won't be the guy sitting up there running the major corporation. it will be the farmer. so you have to do several things. one of them is have an aggressive export policy while you are doing all the restructuring, and ways to do that are to increase the program to get our state department into the game and understand that we should aggressively pursue those markets, and diminish third-world dent because they're not buying our products now because they have to pay every dollar instead of paying an iowa farmer something, they're paying an american bank to pay for the interest rate on the loans they undertook in the '70s. there's much more to say, and we'll get a chance, i guess, as this goes on. >> time now for the next question. that comes from george wily. >> mr. jackson, you answer first on this round, sir. several of you have noted, iowa
is in the heartland of agricultural production in this country. as large as our agricultural production is, we have an industrial production that is three times that size. in this state and in many others, work ers are being told take a pay cut. not in pennies but in dollars, or the plant is going to close. plants have closed. my question is this. has business ownership become greedy or have workers priced themselves out of a job? >> first, workers have been victims of economic violence. corporations, multinationals have incentives to close plants and get tax deconductions. incentives to export our jobs, export our capital, export our tax base. for example, some people are angry with south koreans and taiwanese for taking our jobs. they're not taking our jobs. gm and ge are taking jobs to them. the number one exporter from
taiwan is not taiwan. it's ge. which also owns nbc. which advertises by america. while they take american jobs to a market where you have repressed labor and sell the jobs back here at high prices. we have to get an even playing field for the worker, we must do two things. we must demand labor rights along with human rights. if workers in third world countries make livable wagers, they can buy what we produce and it will reduce incentive to take our jobs away. on the other hand, if we commit more money for research, we can then put a better product on the market. why are the japanese making vcrs and we're not making them? it's not about intelligence, lack of character, lack of hard work. it shows misplaced priorities and downright corporate greed. >> thank you.
now, mr. dukakis. >> one of the reasons we've gone through this terribly difficult period over the last six or seven years in this country is because we shot ourselves in the neck. and we did it by running up record federal budget deficits, deficits in an amount that we had never seen before, which not only are causing severe difficulties here at home, the kinds of things that have driven up real interest rates and kept them high, but drove the value of the dollar right through the roof. it was almost like saying to the people overseas, you send us your goods and we'll give you a 50% discount, and we'll put a 50% tax on everything exported from the united states whether it's grown or manufactured. and that very, very serious and destructive fiscal policy which began in the early '80s under this administration, has done a terrible job on manufacturing, on our basic industries, on our ability to compete, whether it's
our farmers or our manufacturing industries who are trying to stay competitive. the value of the dollar has come down, but we're still picking up the pieces of that wreckage. how are we going to straighten it out? by getting our fiskt house in order, by mounting a strong economic program, and by helping those workers who are displaced, who are laid off, with good training, with notice, with new skills, and with new jobs and new industries that can create new opportunities for themselves and their families. but let's recognize that we did a terrible job on ourselves in the early '80s and now we're reaping the whirlwind and i hope the next president of the united states is going to be somebody who can get the fiscal house in order and get our affairs in order so we never go down that road again. >> thank you. now let's turn to mr. gore. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the question is an extremely important one. what governor dukakis has just said is fine as far as it goes. indeed, the fiscal policy of the
current president has been extremely misguided. but we must recognize that there are other factors involved as well. in truth, there has been a long-term decline in our rate of productivity growth. in truth, we have been facing new and more vigorous competition from overseas steadily since they began rebuilding at the end of world war ii. yes, we must change our fiscal policy. the next president must focus the mandate of the election on rebuilding a consensus in favor of a responsible fiscal policy, and there are ways to do that. but we must do more as well. the question referred to lower wages. we can't compete on the basis of lower and lower wages. we must compete on the basis of sharper and sharper minds. the world is becoming a more comicated place. the world economy is becoming increasingly integrated with the futures of one nation intimately connected with the future of all others. we must see these economic problems in their international context.
the next president must be prepared to work more closely with other nations in promoting economic growth on a global basis. similarly, he must provide strong leadership for the removal of unfair trade barriers overseas and focus on those specific factors here at home, which can make the difference in making america more competitive again. >> thank you. and now, mr. gephardt, 90 seconds. >> this question is the question of the 1988 campaign. everywhere i go in meetings, people get up and ask the question. they say, how can we keep 10 and 12 and 15 dollar an hour jobs in our country when we compete in a world marketplace today where other people around the world are willing to work for a dollar or two dollars an hour? the answer to the question is that we can do it. but to do it, we have to have leadership and we really have to make this country good again, strong again. ronald reagan tried to make us feel good. now we really have to be good.
and the first thing we got to do is educate our people, make them strong. invest in people. the 25% dropout rate in our schools is a disaster and it's got to be turned around. second, we've got to manage people better. i've been all other the country. we've got to turn that around. third, we've got to have better cooperation. the free market doesn't work. we've got to get together, solve our problems, see the competition, face it and meet it. next, we've got to have a national vision to solve these problems. looking through a regional prism at what works in one part of the country may not work in another. and finally, we need a tough trade policy that says for the first time to other countries, this is a world market and we all want to be treated fairly in it. if you can come to this market,
we want to be able to go to yours. if we can, we'll compete because we're going to make america good again. >> thank you, mr. gephardt. time now for mr. simon. >> first, it should be pointed out that our number one trade deficit is with japan. and today, the average japanese worker is making more money than the average american worker. what do we do? number one, we have to encourage manufacturing in this country and producing once again. this whole concept that we're becoming an information society is flawed. the silicon valleys and information base of the country is going to follow the manufacturing base. we have to revitalize the manufacturing sector. second, we do have to face up to our fiscal problems. we have to do it quickly. third, education is part of it. and some of it is very, very concrete. for example, we're the only national on the face of the earth where you can go through grade school, high school,
college, get a ph.d. never have a year of a foreign language. it's a very simple lesson in business. you can buy in any language if you want to sell, you have to speak the language of your customer. we haven't learned to speak the language of our customer. and then, one of the great mistakes in the horrendous tax bill that passed last year, i was one of three to vote against that bill, i am proud of that. one oz the great mistakes is we reduced the amount a corporation can deduct for research. anyone who believes we can build a finer america by cutting research, you're living in a dream world. we could do infinitely better if we have a president who pulls it all together. part of pulling it together is not have 18 different agencies handle trade. we need one person in charge. >> time for mr. biden. >> thank you. industrial growth. you know, i think it's not a very useful exercise to talk
about who's at fault, worker or management, but it is a useful exercise in my view to suggest what a president should do about it. one thing everyone would acknowledge is that the next president should call in to the white house sector by sector, chieftains of labor and captains of industry, and say what do you need to be able to get things done better? for example, one of the reasons wie we have such a serious problem right now in terms of trade is many of those third-world countries that used to import 40% of everything we made, those third-world countries are importing nothing now. the reason they are not is because they have a staggering debt. they're paying exorbitant interest rates to international banks and american banks. instead of sending a doll toor an american manufacturer, they're sending a dollar to an american bank. i would call in the leading bankers in america and say you're never going to collect the interest. write it off now. stretch out the principle and give american industry a chance
to breathe. secondly, i would tell american management, if you're going to want people to take part of the burden and they must have part of the reward. that's why i believe in employment stock option plan and giving workers a piece of the corporation. it's one of the most important thick things that could be done. >> thank you. finally, mr. babbitt. >> a couple years ago, the managers at general motors went out to their employees and said for us to compete, you're going to have to take wage cuts. they closed down nine or ten plants. they dismissed, i think, 30,000 employees. those same managers then went back to their board of directors and said, we solved the problem. and we're entitled to $170 million in bonuses. i believe that's a prescription for alienation, greed, lowered productivity, and an american disaster. i believe it's the obligation of the next president to create work place democracy. to say -- is my time up?
i don't think so. are we back in action here? okay. i think it's the obligation of the next president to provide the leadership for real workplace democracy, to bring labor and management together. to outlaw gold en parachutes, t say if you're going to have a risk-free existence for management and employees, the promote profit sharing, to promote gain sharing and shared ownership and say we can compete if we all come together and do our very best and eliminate the greed and the speculation and concentrate on making real goods and services. that's what i call workplace democracy. i think it's the key to america competing and america taking charge of its economy. >> thank you, gentlemen.
now, our next panel question, that comes from john. >> lines seem to be split down the middle. there are some who say farm prices are easing. others are dismissing this as happy talk. although indicators do show some improvement, statistics on small businesses continue a downward trend. my question for mr. dukakis, what could your administration do to reverse this and bring help to hard-pressed small town businesses? >> we need an administration led by a president working closely with a congress that builds a partnership between washington and states and local communities. that involves business and labor. and our colleges and universities and our educators, mayors and city councillors and local officials. and citizens all over this country, and especially in those states and regions of this country that are hurting and hurting badly. we're going to have to invest some public resources. we're going to have to bring the private sector in. we're going to have to do the kinds of things that a number of people up here have already said
about educating and training and retraining. we're going to have to focus federal resources in on these areas of special needs. if we're going to create centers of technology in this country, we should one criterion for deciding where the centers go and what could be the economic need of the state of the region that is eligible for that center. that's the way you build the kind of strength in rural america that will create new jobs, good jobs, and better jobs. while i agree wholeheartedly that a healthy agricultural economy is essential, in my judgment, if we're going to protect rural america from the ups and downs of what is often a very unstable agricultural economy, we have to build and diversify that economic base. that's something i have done. that's something that the next president of the united states must do, and i believe that congress would support him, and i think the nation would support him. >> mr. gore. >> well, again, mr. chairman, with all due respect to my friend from massachusetts, we
need some specifics. we need some specifics because a general rhetorical approach of simply saying that federal resources must be devoted to small business development is not going to get the job done. i was the original sponsor and author of the small business innovation research act which targeted research funds on small business development and allowed them to participate in the new technologies that are coming onstream. secondly, i believe we need to reshape the operations of the small business administration. we have had an administration presently that has tried to eliminate the small business administration. i will appoint someone to head the sba who understand entrepreneurship and small business development ought to be one of our nation's highest priorities. next, we need to build infrastructure so small businesses in areas can be more profitable and we can attract more jobs there.
specifically, the highway trust fund has been bottled up artificially by this administration. i'll change that policy. they have done it just to give an artificial appearance of improvement in the budget deficit anyway. those funds are collected for a specific purpose. they should be targeted on the purpose for which they're intended to be spent. and finally, we need more availability of capital to small businesses and to entrepreneurs. i believe we need to reshape our nation's paolicies starting wit our fiscal policy to make that available to small business. >> thank you. now mr. gephardt. >> out here in the midwest, missouri, iowa, nebraska, the greatest symbol of the failure of agricultural is when you walk down the streets of small and medium sized towns and you see plywood on half the store fronts as you walk. that's a symbol of failure. the failure is primarily because of the failure in agriculture.
it's the farmers, the corn and wheat and soybean farmers out here in the midwest are going down, then the stores in the small towns by definition are going down. the only way we're going to get small town america small businesses back in business is if we can get the agriculture sector of this country back in business. we can do it. it doesn't have to be this way. it really doesn't. we can have a farm program in this country that really gives farmers a fair price for their product. and when they get that, they're going to come to town and buy all kinds of equipment. they're going to bank. they're going to go to the florist. they're going to go to the small restaurants. they're going to have money to spend in our small towns. mike, i think we can diversify there, you and i may agree, but i think the diversification has to be closely related to agriculture. and here in iowa, it means the
research dollars that come to iowa state and the university of iowa and other colleges have got to be focused on businesses and on enterprises that revolve around the dominant economy arot economy that's always been here and always will be here. and that's the ability to grow things and to sell those things in america and across the world. >> as someone who was a small businessman, i think i understand what's required. 80% of the new jobs in this nation are going to be created by small businesses. and we can do a number of things. when the udeg program came in, while it was called urban development action grant. i saw it could help my house district in deep southern illinois. i got some business leaders from my area together and the first year of that program, one out of
12 dollars we created jobs. jobs that are still there, jobs that expanded. we can do it. next, we need credit for exports. small company in a small town has a very tough time getting credit to expand exports that create new american jobs. if we had federal guarantees on those loans, you would see a dramatic increase in jobs and in small town america. we need to encourage creativity. if you take a look at the u.s. patent office, you will see fewer and fewer american citizens getting patents from the u.s. patent office, more and more foreign citizens getting foreign patents.
>> there are two things we have to do, we have to stop our government from working against small business people. i recently walked down the street in mecina, iowa, half the town was boarded up. instead of dealing with those business people that want to get back in business they're not helping them at all. the second thing we have to do is have it start working for small business people. you're going to talk about diversification. it's not like diversification back east. the next nearest small town, you don't get people to relocate there, if the town's already dead already boarded up. you see to it that those rural development projects we tack about like community based tax insurance. so that when you fall on hard times, you will not lose your
tax base, it will be made up for the federal subsidized insurance proposal. make up the difference between the income the town was collecting and that which they're now collecting now. >> deal with health care facilities. people move into areas based on whether there will be health care for the area. we have to promote what i'm promoting, see to it that we pay off doctors and nurses educations, you have to change the environment in order to attract people into rural america, in order to be able to diversify. government can do that, and we can do it without wasting money. >> during my time in arizona, i made a special effort to lead rural redevelopment. what i learned was, diversification is possible it's possible in any town in america, what it takes is leadership, bringing the local people together inventoring your
resources and to reach out to create jobs. we can see that success in arizona today. i do the same thing as president. the agriculture extension service was created in 1914 when we had the same problems, only in the rural sector. it brought together federal resources, states, the state university and a county extension agent. think about the power of that model, and the way it's revolutionized american agriculture. and i would simply as president propose that we build on that model and that we create a business extension service that it be focused on rural america, and that it use the same model, federal, state, university and local extension power for diversification through
entrepreneurial and small business development. >> let me try to make common sense out of a basic question. you go out tomorrow morning to your fishing pond, a lot of fish are dead. ask if small fish can swim, look for the barracuda that killed all those fish. whenever gm takes away 11 plants and takes away 30,000 jobs to south korea. it kills small workers, small communities, small businesses. small farmers can farm, corporate farmers and concentration of wealth. we who would be democrats must take a fundamentally different approach than regular approach. this is to say that we must talk about economic democracy and economic balance. these major corporations are
exporting jobs, exporting capital. they're taking advantage of our small businesses. by close of communities. this government must demand a new policy. retrain our workers, research and development. if that happens, and money begins to flow back in this country and not just flow out. small businesses will be a byproduct, small farms will be a byproduct. let's not overstudy small dead fish. let's challenge the behavior of the multinational barracudas. >> thank you. we turn bark to our panel for the next question. >> businesses and industries that have deregulated or in the process of being deregulated are
under much financial pressure and even their physical and business structures are being jeopardized. specifically, i'm talking about the airlines and the petroleum industry and the banking industry. should these industries be reregulated by government now? >> i think we have to take them one by one. first of all, where the airline industry is concerned, i think the time has come to reinstitute some regulation. the original goal of deregulation after all was to secure for the public free competition. what we've seen is, a shakeout in the marketplace with only a smaller number of very large companies surviving. they have been reimposing their own kind of order in the marketplace. there has been a decline in safety standards and yes, i think we should have some reinstitution of safety regulation and a return to some
of the professions we had before. where the banking system is concerned. there is no way to go back to the kind of regulation we had before. however, it is time to pause and take stock, because we have seen some very serious problems developing in the savings and loan business. in a lot of small rural banks. and yes we need to pause and take stock a. in all of this, we ought to continue to understand the overall economic environment including the current misguided fiscal policy is what has been placing so much pressure on these industries. >> i think the reagan administration has really subverted and ruined what
deregulation could have done, and how good it could have been. no one ever said when we deregulated the airlines, the government would have no role in safety, no role in regulating and seeing the system freed up could really work. it's the same with banking, trucks, it's the same with food regulation and all kinds of regulation. i think it goes to a question of basic values. this administration expresses a value of survival of the fittest. selfishness, that the society, the government has no role in organizing in harmonizing in making the economy work for the people of this country as a result, people are now having near midair collisions. and the safety of the air system is called into question. today we've got chaos in the trucking industry, and people's goods are not being properly
moved from city to city. there's no government role in seeing that food is safe enough and we have people dying and getting sick from salmonella poisoning and other things that have come along. it goes to a real question of values. of standing up for the rights of people, protecting the safety of people. that's what the government is for. we elected a democratic president in 1988, that's the kind of government we're going to bring back. >> some mistakes have been made in deregulation, no question about it. the real problem in the air field is not deregulation, it is an administration that really moves on safety. that our air travel today is simply not as safe as it ought to be. in the banking field, i have real concerns. our thrift institutions to a great extent are built on confidence. and when you permit other
companies to get into banking and permit banks to start selling stocks and other things, i think you're going to see at some point an erosion of confidence that's going to hurt our economy. finally, however, what we need in the area of regulation is some strong enforcement of antitrust laws and some stiffer penalties and some discouragement for this merger mania that's taken over this country. last year, 127 billion dollars spent not to create new jobs, not for research but for one company to gobble up another company. virtually a total loss for this country. the department of justice is doing almost nothing in the antitrust field. one of the best votes i cast, i was one of those that voted against confirming ed meese as
attorney general of the united states, and i'm proud of that vote. >> and now, let's turn to mr. biden. >> we have a similar feeling about ed meese, ed meese by the way is to point out that he is representative of the whole attitude of this administration. this administration deliberately prostituted the notion of deregulation. deregulation was designed to allow small outfits to get into the business it was designed to keep the giants from gobbling everything up. what they used deregulation for is a foul, to go in and union bust in the case of the areas, to beat the delve out of the air traffic controllers, beyond any recognition. they've allowed the deregulation
to be used as a cover for mergers and acquisitions that have brought about an ability for those corporations. to go out and break unions by insisting there's a no contract in existence. in addition to that, we find ourselves using deregulations as an excuse to do away with everything from osha to the environmental protection requirements to go with the various businesses. deregulation can work, but it cannot work if it's used as a subterfuge to go away the fact that government is supposed to stand for major corporations and people. >> economic deregulation is one thing, this administration has used it to abandon a moral commitment of government, to protect the health and safety of
americans. i saw a plant in iowa, that had the most shocking accident rate i've ever seen. an environment in which nobody was turning to the employees to do anything about it. that case is occurring all over the united states. the federal government has advocated its responsibility. we see it with the airlines, most shockingly in the environmental area. the epa has identified 26,000 toxic waste sites, they've cleaned up 12 in the last few years. 25% of our drinking water has impermissible lead standards. that affects the health and safety of our children, that's an issue of potential mental retardation. that's what's wrong. it would be easy to solve. fire ed meese, appoint a new
attorney general. say it's your job to correct these things. appoint a new epa administrator and demand accountability. it's just that simple. >> mr. jackson? >> let's not focus on ed meese. he's the mailman, mr. reagan is the postmaster general. look at the real issue. deregulation means release the powerful. he has deregulated foreign policy, that's why we have an iran contra scam. that's deregulated foreign policy. he's deregulated the business of human care. in 1980, the budget for hud is $10 million. we have houses that cannot get serviced. those that remained ademented to
sell them all. in the situation, women have been left deregulated and vulnerable. more than half of our nation is female. yet more women are working, making less money. more women are heads of households cannot get basic care for their children. more children have a desire to go to school. they cannot get scholarships, they must get loans. the issue here is the deregulation of the commitment to human care. this administration has abandoned its obligations to regulate justice and fairness and regulate order and peace. >> thank you, and now mr. dukakis. >> let me address the transportation issue, and i hope what i say, my friend al can agree with me, at least this one time. i think he will.
isn't what we have been talking about precisely what happens, when you have a weak presidency and a weak administration which doesn't understand that a first class transportation system is what the people and the economy and the economic future of this country needs? is there anything more important to our economic future than a first class transportation system and a balanced transportation system? nobody who voted for deregulation voted for safety. isn't that what we've been going through for months and years. of course, safety has got to the concern of the united states. that's an executive function. air transportation all by itself will not move the people of this country. i think we have to invest in highways, we have to invest in rail passenger train service once again in this country.
especially in certain parts of this country. and finally, as paul pointed out, we need an antitrust policy. if you're going to deregulate. you have to enforce antitrust policy. someone told me that twa controls 84% of all the flights out of st. louis. you can't deregulate without a strong antitrust policy. i don't think we've heard from the antitrust division in the last four, five, six years. >> i think if we hurry, keep our answers short, we can get in one more question from the panel. >> mr. gephardt will be responding first to this one. the national debt seems to be moving away from us at the speed of light right now. as president, how would you bring that debt under control, can it be done without blowing
holes in the economy? >> well, it's taken us seven years to get into this mess and it will take us more than one or two to get out of it, our goal should be to try to get $30 billion a year off the deficit. assuming we don't fall back into a recession, which would make the goal of a more balanced budget even more elusive. i think we can get the budget toward balance. how would i do it? first, i think we have to cut spending. one of the ways you can do that is with the passage of the gephardt save the family farm act. it would cut $12 billion off spending this year, and allow farmers to get a fair price for their products. second, i'm for an import oil fee. it's the right national policy for this country. it makes me angry that we're beholden to countries in the
middle east today, that we have our kids officer in the persian gulf. the only way it will become more independent for energy is if we allow alternative energy fuels here in the united states like ethanol from here in iowa in the midwest. we cannot have this ridiculous defense budget that's gone on over the last few years, buying every weapons simm that comes down the pike. tax reform is likely to bring in more money than we thought. those four things can get us to the goal of where we are in the next two years, let's see what we do to get back to a balanced budget. >> it has to be a major priority, and a president of the united states who indicates he will deep with this vigorously when he takes office, can among other things, bring down interest rates. one of the realities is, the
only good thing about a $2.3 trillion indebtedness, each 1% you reduce interest rates, you reduce the federal expenditure $23 billion. second, we are going to have to cut back on some spending, and the defense department is an area where we can cut back without impairing the defense of this nation one iota. just having competitive bidding would be a very welcome change in some areas that would save a tremendous amount of money. we don't need every ridiculous weapons system that comes along. we can cut back on star wars, for example, eliminate that. there are a number of things that could be done that really can save substantially. finally, what you have to do is put america back to work.
each 1% you reduce unemployment, you reduce the deficit $30 billion. if we were to cut ouren employment rate in half, we would still have a higher unemployment rate than japan, taiwan, switzerland, than several other countries. if we were to cut the real unemployment in half, we would eliminate the deficit. >> the answer to the question, sir, is, yes, it can be done, and it can be done in a way thav will not undermine economic growth. the one thing the american people don't believe about us is that we're fiscally responsible. they don't believe we're responsible. that's why any democrat who proposes any new program, better be prepared to say how he or she is going to be preú" qv to pay for it. every program i've put forward -- in fact i indicate where i would pay for it, let me be specific how i would cut the
fiscal budget right now, i would convert all our existing quotas to tariffs, that would raise $8 billion. instead of talking about cutting the defense department, the only way it makes a difference is if you cut the star wars system, the mx system, i would cut the b-1 system, i would cut mart of our surface navy feet, the systems. that's the only way you can make any money. i would raise 7.billion by excessing cigarettes and liquor in order to pay for the drug program and health care program i propose. by changing the agricultural program the way i suggested, it would save $2 billion by targ targeting family farms, there are ways in which we can raise additional money by raising tax amnesty. i've been around a long time, i know in the senate, we talk about waste, fraud and abuse, it's a little bit like saying
tax amnesty will solve our problem. with specificity, the proposal i put forward reduces the deficit $30 billion this year. that's what we must do, be specific. >> we must cut expenditures and raise revenues. on the expenditure side, i advocate a universal needs test. it's a question, is that program really targeted and is it necessary? if you ask that question of farm subsidies, you could get rid of subsidies of corporate ago row business. focus that program on family farmers. that question asked to housing assistance and mortgage subsidies would say, we don't need to be paying mortgage subsidies for people to buy ski condo mid yums in colorado. they ought to be targeted on first homeowners.
why is it we're spending money on three new generations of missiles we can't send mine sweepers to the persian gulf. on the tax side, none of us have been very candid about the reality, that includes all the candidates, because the plain fact is we can't change it without talking about it. many of the american people are waiting for some honesty, we have to raise revenue. i propose a progressive consumption tax. which would be enacted contingent upon spending reducti reductions. i believe the two linked together are the only honest straightforward answer to that deficit issue. >> mr. jackson? >> if you are lost in a blind ally, you don't need a
technician opposition leader. we should get out of this mess the way we got in it. reagan doubled our budget. reduced taxes on the corporations and the wealthy, we must cut the military budget without cutting defense, that means cutting the missile system, the star wars system, it also means reviewing the nato relationship, the european nations are much stronger now, much more able to pay a share of the burden as a percent of our military budget p.m. it also means we're wasting money and credibility in nicaragua trying to overthrow our government. flag and ships in the persian golf. we need to have the military budget that correlates without vital interest and not with fascinations, with misadventures. lastly, corporations must pay
their share of taxes. the wealthy must pay their share of taxes. they have the cushion. they owe it to america to keep america strong. lastly, we must put america back to work. the alternative to welfare and despair is work. people got a job, revenue goes up, they pay their taxes, the deficit goes down, and the self-respect goes up. put america back to work, is the surist way in the debt crisis. >> mr. dukakis? >> i think i'm the only person at this table today who has to balance a budget, i've balanced nine budgets in three years. first, you have to make the hard choices on spending. and a number of us have already talked about it. you have to improve your economic performances if unemployment were just a drop, the federal guj et deaf sit would be $36 billion less.
if you do those who things the interest will come down. finally, we have to raise revenue. i don't believe any responsible candidate can seriously say he'll guarantee he won't ask congress for the taxes that are not available to him. we are not collecting today. these are the irs figures, not mine. $110 billion a year in federal taxes owed that aren't being paid. i didn't say 110 million, i said 110 billion. i begin with a one-time amnesty, that's just the first step in a strong invisible investment program that encourages voluntary compliance. in massachusetts today, we've had great success with revenue enforcement, you get your refund back in nine days. that's the way you encourage voluntary compliance. that's the way you treat your
taxpayers as valued customers. if we can go out there and do that, we can collect billions and billions and billions of dollars in unpaid taxes. it seems to me, it's only the fair thing to do to collect taxes from people who aren't paying before you impose new taxes on the vast majority of americans who aren't paying their taxes and paying them ontime. >> finally, mr. gore. >> i found something to agree with in that answer too. i agree with joe biden that your estimates are way off and also, i heard something else you said, which i disagree with. you said we must raise revenue. we must raise revenue. now if we have a recession in january 1989, that would be the worst thing to do.
we should focus on economic growth. we should focus on more jobs, bringing in revenue. we should focus on wasteful spending. the a-6 attack plain, the level of skpexpenditures that are required for the bradley fighting vehicle chest x-rays on admission, that would say $2 billion per year if the next president is willing to do this, we could make dramatic savings. >> that concludes the panel portion. we now begin one round of candidate questioning. the candidates receiving the
question were chosen by a random drawing. the first candidate question is directed to mr. dukakis by mr. simon. >> the increase in defense expenditure expenditures since president reagan was in office, that's a pretty healthy welfare check for the state of massachusetts. how do we work on the whole of c conversion. find the chance for a job. >> as you know, paul, only about 5% of the new jobs we created have very little to do with
defense, there's no question whether you're talking about massachusetts, illinois, tennessee, conversion has got to be a part of the process we need to move. that's part of the job of the next president, to develop that planning process, to work with communities, to work with those regions that are going to be affected you yourself pointed out you went to work with your communities and it's exactly the kind of thing the next president of the united states will have to do if he is and you are and i am, strongly committed to moving from -- >> we must move along.
>> you talk all the time about how you're proud of the vote against the tax bill, one of the reasons some of us voted for the tax bill is we thought we could firm the loopholes. once you tell somebody you're going to give a tax shelter, for example, the one on commercial real estate, you should not go back and say, sorry, we didn't mean it. do you think this tax loophole should remain? and why are you so committed to tax loopholes? i voted against the tax loophole originally, but i do believe it's likely you hand someone a $1,000 bond. i don't think you go back and say, this is worth $700,000. people who have invested under
certain promises by the federal government, the federal government ought to keep those promises. that tax bill was a monster, i'm proud to vote against that, i wish the iowa primary were after april 15th instead of february 8th so a lot of people in iowa would understand what happened to them, while the wealthy in this nation had their taxes reduced, one third of middle america, including a lot of iowa farmers got gouged with that tax bill. >> now, the third candidate question directed to mr. jackson. >> my question is about graham ruddman. all of the senators and congressmen here at this table voted for graham rudman which says rather than make choices, we'll walk away from that and
make everything even. what's your view of graham rudman, and how would you set priorities in budget reduction. >> there is no substitute for courageous leadership. one that would lead america must be eligible for the second volumes in courage. they must make sound judgment and the level playing field. for example, in an aids epidemic, other epidemics occurring, judgments have to be made. we must committee ourselves to targeting support for those with the weakest links in the chain a real commitment to women, children, prenatal care, day care, education from day care
up, not high-tech down, those would support a rudman amendment, supports the rich and locks the poor in the basement. >> thank you, now, mr. jackson, it is your turn. >> this is a tough one. >> on a more serious note, there are three and a half acres of land these farmers, the beginning farmers, the new starter farmers, minority farmers, affirmative action's basis, should get priority over this land and not just real estate developers.
would you support an international conference to establish a floor beneath which no one would fall? >> let me answer the second question first. your point that there are 3 1/2, there's millions of acres and thousands of farmers who have had their land taken away because they couldn't meet the payment. we're going out on the farm credit system and selling that very land at a lower interest rate that affects subsidizing to cartels to cindy cats. i think we should sell the land back to, at the lower interest rate. the effect on the federal government is the same, these people are not out of business, because they were bad business people and bad farmers, they were out of business because of bad foreign policy, and i think they should get the chance, not some cartel out of chicago or
new york or los angeles. i think you're right on both points and wrong on graham rudm rudman. one of the things we haven't mentioned as much, we all know our economy is changing, our families are changing, wedge we like that or not. more single parent families, more families where both parents are working. you've been particularly outspoken and eloquent about the question of child care and day care. i wonder if you would comment on the explanation of that to our economic future, and specifically to creating economic creativity for youngsters. >> in some major answers itself, you point out that it is an economic issue. i think child care is an issue of workplace democracy if we're
going to say to single parents, it's your obligation to go out there and take a minimum wage job earning $6800 a year. you can't be serious they have to take 3,000 out of that for child care. it's an economic issue. if we believe people should take charge of their lives, we want to give them incentives to work, that's the place to begin. it's also a children's issue, a moral issue. the education issue. the first grade in this society is too late. we need to begin early. half of all education takes place before the first grade. that's why i believe the first priority in domestic programming should be a federal day care voucher, available scale to income available to every working parent in this country
without exception. >> thank you. >> there's one obvious question all of us have agreed this afternoon, that the principle cause of the farm trade and economic problems is reagan openics, and the centerpiece of reaganomics was the poorly designed tax bill of 1981. all the rest of us who were in a position to vote had the good sense to vote no when the time came. why in the world did you vote for reaganomics in 1981? >> first of all, al, as you well know i led the fight on the house floor for the democratic tax bill unfortunately, after a good fight, and we worked and worked and talked a lot of
members, we didn't succeed. we came a few votes short. the choice was whether you vote for any tax cut at all, or you vote for the reagan bill my feeling was if we didn't have a tax cut at all in 1981, we were bound to have a recession. and as it turned out we did. the recession we had was not as bad as it would have been if we had had no tax cut at all opinion since then i led the fight for tax reform, which got rid of the most egregious tax loopholes caused by the '81 bill. i think you have to look at what's been done at the time and who was leading, who was trying to get something done. who was trying to make the tax code better. i think i've done that. >> thank you, the final candidate question the question is directed to mr. gore by mr.
gephardt first if i get to 52% in the polls in new hampshire, will you start attacking me like you have mike dukakis today? but the second question is really about children, i was in a meet iing in california about, 3 days ago, i met with people who have been working with physically and emotionally abused children. children who are on drugs, children who have dropped out of school. they talked with passion and experience and wisdom about the problem. at the end of the meeting, one of the women there said, congressman, you talk about economics all the time. but you never get to children. you talk about deficits, but you never talk about children. my question to you is, what should the next president's
agenda be for children. and what's the most important thing we should do, to have strong productive children in this society? >> i've been deeply involved with that issue in my 11 years in the house and senate. i was the sponsor of the act. i worked hard on welfare reform some priorities include welfare reform, one working parent to leave the home, and remove the disincentive for families to go back to work, because they're afraid they'll lose their children's medicaid benefits if they go back to work under the current system. we ought to be concerned about the problems of the homeless, the fastest growing category among the homeless is children and families with children. we ought to understand that the fastest growing group in poverty generally is children next we ought to have a massive literacy program and set a goal of 100%
literacy by the year 2000. all the studies indicate children of illiteral parents are illiterate themselves. these are only a few of the items that would be on the agenda about. >> we move to the final segment. each candidate now has two minutes for closing remarks 37. >> we need a president who understands our economy, who cares, who can lead. we need a president who can appeal to the noble in each of us. recently i was in a call in radio program, a woman called in and said, you know why i'm out of a job, don't you? i said, no, ma'am, i really don't. she said the blacks are getting all the jobs. we need a present who creates opportunities for all of us, instead of dividing us, we need
to be pulled together once again. with its insensitivity to the less fortunate, this nation has been drifting in the wrong direction. you now have robin hood in reverse, you have a shrinking middle class. a few people moving up, many more moving down, those tax bills have aggravated that, reducing the tax for the wealthiest of americans from 70% to 28%, and again, i was one of three people in the senate to vote against that, the only candidate on this table or on the republican side who opposed that tax cut. that's just part of it. we also had dramatic increase in expenditures. who pays the interest, people of limited income. who receives the interest, the more fortunate among us, harry truman was right, deficits help
rich people i want to protect the economy of this nation, but i want to protect the income of the average american. we need a prosper use america, but not just for the favored few. i want an american where the average american is the big winner not the lobbyists for the powerful yes i am a traditional american, i'm a pay as you go democrat, traditional democrat, i want government that cares, i want government that doesn't divide us, i want government that dreams about the kind of america, the kind of a world we can build we live in a good and great country, but my friends it can be a better country. with your help, we're going to make it a better country. there's one thing that we sometimes lose site of, it's probably the most important
thing at all. people, human lives, dreams and hopes, pain and loss. the other day i was in front of a high school class in new hampshire, and i asked how many of them wanted to give their life to public student. not one student raised their hand. the president of the student body came up to me and explained, the reason none of us want to participate any more, none of us believe in any of you any more. when you reach the point where the youngest among us who are supposed to be the most idealistic are the most cynical, something is very wrong in america. there's something very wrong in america when you go to davenport, iowa, and you see that one in five houses is up for sale, because the families can't make the payments. that's not just an economic statistic, that's a moral failure. we have to change our economy and to do that, we have to
change our president. but more important than that, is changing this attitude of indifference and selfishness that's flourished over the last few years. the next president has got the challenges to be good as well as great. that's the way america was when i was a boy growing up in st. louis. i remember sitting on the porch with my parents. the air was hot and muggy, but it was full of dreams and it was right to dream those dreams because we knew we could realize them. now in towns like davenport, the porches are empty, and on too many front yards, there are for sale signs, and the dream has been lost i want to change that. i want those youngsters in new hampshire to dream again, to believe in america again, and to want to give something back to
this great country so every one of us has a dream and a right to believe we can fulfill that dream. >> thank you, and now mr. gore. >> i hope you have enjoyed this debate today. i've enjoyed it, debates are not simply about agreement, democracy is not simply about again railties. democracy demands a vigorous discussion of new ideas, and the differences we have in our approach to making this country a better place the democratic party is not just a collection of narrow interest agendas, nor can our problems be seen through the narrow prism of only one of our states, we have a fork in the road root before us in this 1988 election. we have to choose if we're going to continue the current path or strike out to ward a brighter future. we must see this as one nation. the next president must be prepared to unify us, must be
prepared to restore respect for the rule of law in the white house. and pursue a meaningful and verifiable arms control agreement in the world. i believe the time is now, when i first announced for the presidency, someone said, why don't you wait? that's the same question we've been addressing this afternoon, can america wait for answers and solutions for the challenges of the future? or are we prepared to move now? i think the time is now to regenerate a sense of national purpose in this country. a sense of national purpose only a president can provide. the time is now to rekindle the spirit of america. in order to do so, we must heel the divisions in our country. the most serious division is not between north and south or black and white. the most serious division is between those who say, wait, and those on the other hand who look at the very difficult problems and feel within them a
commitment to make a difference. that's the side i'm on, and that's the side i'd like you to be on. i'd like to close by asking for your support in this race for the nomination of the democratic party. >> mr. dukakis? >> i believe the next president of the united states is going to confront two major changes. the first is whether or not we can build an economic future for ourselves and our children and families that is bright and strong and vibrant opinion good jobs at good wages for every american, not just some people in some places, but every american in this country. that will require a president who can build a partnership nor economic growth and opportunity all over this land. a partnership for people, and for their future. there's a second major challenge that will face the next president of the united states. and on this, senator gore and i agree totally. we have the best opportunity for
meaningful arms control and arms reduction we've had in our lifetimes. and that opportunity gives us a rare chance to build a peaceful and strong economic future for ourselves and people all over the world. the president just the other day talked about the possibility of agreements in europe, and deep cuts and strategic weapons, just imagine what it would be like for ourselves and people all over this world if the next president of the united states could achieve those goals. my parents came to this country 75 years ago, seeking the american dream, and they found it for themselves and their sons. and one of the things they said to my brother and me all the time, those of us who have had the opportunity to share that team, to live in this country had a special opportunity give something back. i believe in the american dream, and i want to make it come true for every single citizen of this
land. that's why i'm running for the presidency, and that's why i hope i can win your support. >> now, mr. jackson. >> all that we heard today amounts to why we must stop economic violence. farmers put off of their land, lack of support for women and children, or youth in school, public affordable housing, in the face of such an ominous challenge we must not surrender, 1984, 85 million americans had the right to vote. you surrendered your franchise, you gave up, you cannot surrender, don't turn to liquor and dope as anesthesia for your pain. don't violate your family, don't move toward suicide, there is hope. i'm from alabama, 1965 i saw it happening in greenfield, iowa this day. we must go another way. challenge the military budget and make it make sense.
challenge the wealthy, challenge the corporate behavior, make them be fair, make them be just. if you really want change, you have to change directions, not just presidents. so now let us fight for economic justice and fight together, not fight each other, if we must fight, let's fight workers without notice. let's fight at the shipyard. let's fight at the school where the youth of a good mind could not get a scholarship, could not get a loan. if we must fight, let's fight for the family farm auction and stand with that family. if we must fight lastly, fight in some hospital together for some woman, some man who died in the emergency room because they didn't have a green or yellow card to go upstairs to a bed that was empty, waiting for the rich to get sick. let's do justice and let's love america, and let the real
america stand up for all of its people. thank you very much. and god bless you. >> now, mr. babbitt. >> i believe this debate will focus and has focused on the major issue we confront in 1988, and that is simply whether or not we as americans it find the leadership to take charge of our economic future, to seize the opportunities that are coming world. and to make room for everyone in a burst of real economic growth and productivity. i've outlined during the course of this debate, three fundamental changes that i think we need together to have the courage and the resolve to make. workplace democracy, which is about productivity and change in the workplace, and coming together in aid of productivity. a universal needs test, which is
a way of getting ahold of government, and addressing priorities and restraint in that budget, investment in our children. we as americans must resolve to end the neglect of our children and begin using presidential leadership to invest in their future. a couple days ago, i was out at a shopping center, campaigning, i introduced myself to a couple of young people. one of them looked at me and said, it doesn't make any difference. why should i be involved? you all make promises that you don't keep, you all raise expectations only to dash them. i couldn't help but thinking, i share that frustration. i thought of michael dever on the cover of "time" magazine, sitting in the back of a long limousine, auctioning off the majesty of the united states government to the highest bidder. but i responded to that young man, i said simply this, we can
do better. i understand your frustrations, but rather than lowering expectations, we must raise them. rather than dropping out, we must participate. because together we can change direction. we can raise our hopes, we can open up a world of opportunity, a new future, all of us together. thank you. >> one more. now, mr. biden. >> thank you very much, i'm proud to be with these six other people up here. we agree much more than we disagree. i was trying to think how i would close here today, and it seems to me there's two things that come through very clearly number one, the united states economy has to be revitalized not just for the sake of america, but the world. we are the world's last best hope. if our economy fades, will japan take over the protection of the
free world? will our european allies do that? the answer is clearly no. we must succeed not only for ourselves, but the world. the second point that becomes clear to me is the democratic party. the democratic party has always stood for growth and hope. somehow that's been lost for a while in the minds of the public and maybe even among those of us in the party. i started thinking as i was coming over here. why is it that joe biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? why is it that my wife is sitting out there in the audience, is the first in her family to ever go to college? is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright. is it because i'm the first biden in 1,000 generations to get a college and graduate degree, that i was smarter than the rest? the same people who red poetry and wrote poetry and taught me to sing verse, is it because they didn't work hard? my ancestors who worked in the
coal mines for 12 hours, no it's not because they weren't as smart, it's not because they didn't work as hard, it's because they didn't have a platform upon which to stand. that's what my party's always been about. we provide people a platform upon which to stand. that's what government is for. ladies and gentlemen, there's an old communion hymn in my church, he will raise you up on eagles wings and bear you on the breath of dawn and make the sun to shine on you. it's time to build a platform on which we can raise america up on eagles wings. shed light on people who need our help. this is an exciting time to be in our business. and no better time to be president. i hope you'll consider me, thank you very much. >> that concludes the economic for america debate. now you can let go, show the
candidates you do appreciate the fact that they were here, took part in this debate. [ cheers and applause ] >> that was a look back at the 1988 presidential race and democratic candidates debate that took place during the iowa state fair. during the debate, senator biden used a portion of a speech by british politician neil kennick without attribution. this along with several other allegations of past plagiarism and exaggeration of his academic record led him to withdraw exactly one month later from the presidential race. throughout the next year, american history tv will look back to past presidential campaigns as our companion network covers the 2016 road to
the white house. you can find us every weekend here on c-span 3. all weekend, american history tv is featuring the city of grand junction. in 1911, president taft established the colorado national monument after john at toe build trails connecting to the canyons. before that, many residents believe the canyons were inaccessible to humans. hosted by our charter communications partners, the city tours staff showcased the city's history. learn more about grand junction, colorado, all weekend, here on american history tv. >> we're in an area called canopy, it's the only source of clear, cold water from the mountain. for thousands of years people have camped here. we've had, you know, the early pail owe litic indians, the ute camped here. in fact the name conna creek,
but the work conna means a lodge pole. this is a great campsite for the utes because you're near a water source and there are meadows here for the horses. well today we're out here to look at the redoubt site, and that's that stone structure behind us. it's a redoubt is a hastily built small military structure, what today we would call a rifle pit. and we've been out here in 2006 doing an archaeological survey looking for actually a different object supposed spanish colonial object found in 1960. while we were out here, we stumbled on this site, and we recorded it because we wanted to come back and we're really interested. our archaeologists were puzzled by what the structure was. when we started to excavate in 2009, we found a lot of objects including fogments of spanish